The Tuckerton man who shot his Love Triangle foe in the midsection because he thought that man was sleeping with his estranged wife at the time, has now received his prison sentence.

It was the claim of Donald Rutter, 53, that Thomas Jarvis, 55, caused the breakup of his 18-year marriage but his wife said it was because of his drinking, according an affidavit filed by investigators in 2021 in Ocean County Superior Court.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said that 53-year-old Donald Rutter has been sentenced to five-years in prison following a prior guilty plea to Aggravated Assault and 18-months for pleading guilty to Stalking and the sentences will run concurrently.

It was only days into the new year in 2021 when Donald Rutter, 53, became enraged and jealous in going after Thomas Jarvis, 55, that January 5 and shot his Love Triangle foe.

Donald Rutter (Ocean County Jail)
Donald Rutter (Ocean County Jail)
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Jarvis was treated for his injuries at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center and later released from hospital care.

Little Egg Harbor Police were first on scene the night of the shooting that occurred around 7:30 pm at Jarvis Marine on Radio Road in the township.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit helped identify Rutter as the shooter and it was a multi jurisdictional search by the OCPO-MCU/HTCU/SWAT, Little Egg Harbor Police, New Jersey State Police, U.S. Marshals, Ocean County Sheriff's Office, and Tuckerton Police that led the early search for the shooter but it was unsuccessful, at first.

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A warrant was issued and a couple weeks later, Rutter was found by U.S. Marshals sleeping under a boardwalk near Tennessee Avenue in Atlantic City on January 28, 2021 and was arrested on site.

Donald Rutter
Donald Rutter (Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)
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In addition to his prison sentenced, Prosecutor Billhimer said that Rutter will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility and the judge in the case executed a Permanent Stalking Restraining Order barring Rutter from having any contact with Jarvis ever again.

Rutter remains in the Ocean County Jail.

Prosecutor Billhimer also announced that Ocean County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill and Ocean County Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke handled the case on behalf of the State.

Previous reporting by Dan Alexander was used in this article.

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